Piloting Strategies to Support Workers Beyond Tier 1

Issues Child Labor

Turkey’s garment and textile supply chain is large and complex. The upper tiers are often difficult to trace, making it difficult to engage workers and support worker rights beyond Tier 1 (downstream) suppliers.

Employers in small and medium-sized enterprises often operate informally and lack awareness of the national or international standards on decent work conditions and child labor. Many of these workplaces have precarious working conditions and pose a high risk for workers.

Existing workplace intervention strategies are informed by research and assessments at Tier 1 workplaces. These strategies neither adequately address the needs of workers and their families nor prioritize the elimination of child labor.

A lack of understanding of workers in the upper tiers of the supply chains and limited research of these tiers mean that adequate strategies have not been developed or tested. Even when useful steps are taken in upper tiers, such efforts have limited impact because they are isolated from or uncoordinated with national action plans.

The FLA is partnering with stakeholders in Turkey to conduct a pilot project to support workers in upstream tiers and improve their workplaces by addressing issues such as child labor, occupational health and safety, grievance mechanisms, and compensation.


  • Turkish Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services (MoFLSS);
  • Global companies with operations in Turkey: adidas, Esprit, New Balance, Nike, and PUMA;
  • Turkish trade unions: Leather, Weaving, and Textile Workers’ Trade Union (DERITEKS), Textile Workers’ Trade Union (DISK-Tekstil), and Trade Union of Textile, Knitting, and Apparel Workers (TEKSIF); and
  • Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters’ Association (IHKIB).


  • Undertake stakeholder engagement and information dissemination to promote decent work, eliminate child labor, and reduce workers’ rights violations.
  • Create visibility into the upstream supply chain and pilot prevention and remediation approaches to protect vulnerable workers from exploitation.
  • Develop and strengthen programs by building the capacity of stakeholders in the garment and textile supply chain to promote decent work and eliminate child labor.


  • Stakeholder Engagement and Information Dissemination. Establish a stakeholder Project Steering Committee that compiles, publishes, and disseminates information and lessons learned from the project.
  • Review Ongoing Programs and Regulatory Frameworks. Examine applicable materials and supply chain systems to learn the dynamics and possible risk areas beyond Tier 1. Baseline Assessments. Conduct assessments at Tier 2 factories of project partners to collect information on risk areas and their root causes. Implement a worker demographic profiling survey at Tier 2 factories to obtain worker demographics and household profiles.
  • Pilot Case Management. Utilize the needs assessment component of the worker demographic profiling survey to test case management at the Tier 2 factory level.
  • Pilot the Rollout of a Worker Feedback and Grievance System. Test a tool that uses technology to provide a channel for providing current information to workers and collect workers’ feedback.
  • Training and Capacity Building. Facilitate programs for buyers, employers, and trade unions to improve their knowledge on topics such as occupational health and safety, effective supply chain management, grievance mechanisms and, decent work practices.

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